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Costco's Pushy Sales Tactics Are Becoming a Major Nuisance For Loyal Customers

Some Costco employees have trouble taking no for an answer, according to members.

Costco has been pushing its members hard to upgrade their memberships in 2023—and some employees are reportedly having trouble taking no for an answer.

For the uninitiated, Costco offers two membership tiers. There's the basic Gold Star Membership that costs $60 annually, then there's the Executive Membership that costs $120 annually but comes with extra perks like an annual 2% reward on qualifying purchases.  No two people's shopping habits and needs are exactly the same, so the membership tier that's right for one Costco fan may not be right for someone else. However, Costco shoppers with the Gold Start Membership have been getting very irked lately by intense upgrade pitches from employees.

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Earlier this week, a shopper took to Reddit to share a frustrating experience they recently had at Costco. The shopper explained that while checking out, a Costco employee came over to try to convince them to upgrade to the Executive Membership. The employee wouldn't stop "pressuring" the shopper to get the upgrade even after they said they weren't interested.

"She didn't stop until I got my receipt from the cashier and then left."

The post has now racked up 350 comments from other shoppers, many of whom reported similarly frustrating experiences at their own warehouses.

"I had a similar experience. The cashier called over a supervisor who started in with the spiel to try to close the sale…The lady also would not stop even after telling her I wasn't interested a few times. Finally the transaction was finished and I was so annoyed I started going to a different warehouse," one member commented.

Some members even reported seeing whiteboards in their local warehouses showing how many upgrades each employee was responsible for, which annoyed them even more.

"My location has the board in plain sight too, right next to the employee break area and bathrooms. I get it, but it's in poor taste," one Redditor wrote.

Costco Gold Star card
Andy.LIU / Shutterstock

Similar complaints emerged in another Reddit post this week with nearly 900 comments. The shopper who started the thread complained that a Costco associate piqued their interest by claiming they were eligible for a "reward," but what they ended up getting wasn't really a "reward" at all. Instead, the shopper had to sit through a 10-minute membership upgrade pitch as the associate tried to sell them on the benefits of the Executive Membership.

"I was so excited to get some reward, and my reward turned out to be an opportunity to spend more money! Very odd, never had this kind of sales tactics from Costco before. Bit of a turnoff," the shopper wrote.

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Other customers were outraged on the customer's behalf, and many even reported experiencing the exact same thing.

Some self-identified employees encouraged members to blame Costco rather than its warehouse workers, claiming that the company's corporate arm pushes workers to give the upgrade pitches. Still, customers are still pretty fed up with the fact that they have to deal with them at all.

"Probably the best benefit of Executive membership is not having to endure these sales pitches," one fan quipped.

Costco did not immediately respond to our queries for comment on the complaints.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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